Unmissable Things To Do In Ocho Rios, Jamaica

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Jamaica – the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea (after Cuba and Hispaniola) is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. This beautiful tropical island is primarily known for its all-inclusive resorts. However, a country with a generally laid-back feel has a fantastic natural abundance. Picture-perfect powdery white sand beaches with inviting turquoise Caribbean waters, rushing waterfalls erupting out of nowhere surrounded by jungle, are what make this nation with extraordinary natural beauty. Jamaica is an incredible island filled with unmissable things to do in Ocho Rios and on the northern coast. Let’s together uncover Ocho Rios and its extraordinary secrets.

Ocho Rios, known as Ochi, is one of the best places to visit in Jamaica because it has inviting turquoise waters, rushing waterfalls and beautiful white sandy beaches.


About Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios, located on the Northern Coast of Jamaica, is, without doubt, one of the main tourist destinations in Jamaica. The former sleepy fishing village became a popular port of call for massive cruise ships, though. On-the-beaten-track Ocho Rios with a vast number of duty-free shops, craft markets, restaurants and night clubs have helped to give the town its touristy reputation.

However, this is just one side of the story of Ochi. With mountainous terrain and lush rainforest, Ocho Rios is also famous for its natural beauty. Therefore it is a paradise for tourists in search of adventure. In fact, the area is home to a collection of unmissable things to do that should be on every traveller’s list.


Unmissable Things To Do In Ocho Rios

Make you trip to Ochi memorable by visiting its top attractions. Here are the unmissable experiences Ocho Rios has to offer.

With its mountainous terrain and lush rainforest, Jamaica is home to several waterfalls.



A visit to Blue Hole is one of the best to do in Ocho Rios in Jamaica because it is an unspoiled natural emerald lagoon with pristine waterfall. It is also an ideal spot for swimming.

Blue Hole in Ocho Rios

The Blue hole, situated deep in the mountains outside Ocho Rios, is without doubt highlight of the northern coast. Unspoiled natural emerald lagoon with pristine waterfall and beautiful surroundings is also an ideal spot for swimming. Moreover, jumping and swinging-like-Tarzan from ropes into the refreshing blue pools at the bottom of the falls are other popular activities here. It is, without doubt, a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss when in Ocho Rios! 

A visit to Blue Hole near Ochi is one of the best things to do in Ocho Rios because this unspoiled natural emerald lagoon with pristine waterfall and beautiful surroundings is also an ideal spot for swimming. Blue Hole in Ochi is top attraction because jumping and swinging-like-Tarzan from ropes into the refreshing blue pools at the bottom of the falls are other popular activities here.

Besides, a little off-the-beaten-path natural lagoon is a hidden spot often missed by crowds visiting famous Dunn’s River Falls.


Day trip to to Blue Hole is one of the best things to do in Ocho Rios because this lovely waterfall with refreshing water is an excellent outdoor activity even when on a rainy day.

Irie Blue Hole is not an official Jamaican Tourist Board attraction, with no vendors and queues to go through.

Blue Hole in the mountains is undoubtedly top attraction in Ochi because this this secret fall is an excellent escape from busy Ocho Rios


  • The Blue Hole is about 20 minutes from Ocho Rios by car.
  • The drive to Irie Blue Hole in the hills of St Ann Paris near Ocho Rios is not easy to find and is a bumpy one. It is easier to hire a driver, though.
  • The tiny cave under one of the waterfalls is safe, but if you are claustrophobic, it is maybe not a good idea.
  • Don’t forget to wear water shoes (bring yours or rent them upon arrival).


Entrance Fee: USD 15

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Dunns River Falls is one of the best things to see in Ocho Rios in Jamaica because it is the world famous waterfalls. The travertine waterfalls are natural wonders of the Caribbean because they empty to the sea.

The world-famous Dunn’s River Falls

At about 55 m (180 feet) high and 180 m (600 feet) long, Dunn’s River Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Jamaica. These famous cascade falls, located just 3 km west of Ocho Rios, are one of the few travertine waterfalls in the world that empties directly to the sea. The magnificent natural wonders of the Caribbean with a series of stunning cascades and several small pools are also a top-rated tourist attraction in Ocho Rios. You may climb up to the top of the falls with the help of tour guides from the park.

natural pool at Dunns River Falls dunns rivel fall ocho rios waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Jamaica because it empties directly to the sea.Dunns River falls the end of the trail

Dunn’s River Falls is, without doubt, one of Jamaica’s national treasures. It’s one of the most beautiful sites on the island and, therefore, it’s one of the best things to see in Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Dunn’s River Falls is a worthy stop on any itinerary – it’s a perfect place to spend a morning. And the best of all? It’s also so much fun!

Dunns River Fall in Ocho Rios, Jamaica: a magnificent cascade of multiple tiers, ending in the sea. Therefore, it is one of the top attractions in Ocho Rios.

Moreover, Dunn’s River Falls is a spectacular waterfall continuously rebuilt by the sediments in spring water. For that reason, it is described by geologists as “a living phenomenon”.

Spectacular Dunns River waterfall is a unique attracion in Ocho Rios in Jamaica because it is continuously rebuilt by the sediments in spring water.

Spectacular Dunn’s River Falls

Furthermore, Dunn’s River Falls featured in the first James Bond movie Dr No is also a location shoot for the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail.


  • If you wish to avoid the crowds, try to visit famous waterfalls early in the morning on a day when no cruise ships are docked at the port (view ship schedule).
  • Bring also a waterproof camera if you have your own.
    • Don’t forget to put on your water shoes
  • The climb is suitable for all ages


Entrance Fees (1st April 2019):

Prices (Non-Resident): Adults – $25 USD, Child (age 4-12) $17 USD

Prices (Jamaican Resident) * ID required: Adults $1000 JMD, Child (age 4-12) $500 JMD

Opening Hours: 8.30 am – 4 pm ( Regular hours of operation), 7 am – 4 pm (Cruise ship day hours). Open 365 days a year.



a chairlift ride to Mystic Mountain is one of the best things to do in Ocho Rios because it is the best way to view town and a lush Jamaican rainforest.

The best way to view Ocho Rios and a lush Jamaican rainforest

Just a short distance from Ocho Rios, a road leads uphill to Mystic Mountain. Take a breath-taking chairlift ride (the Sky Explorer) above the treetops and enjoy spectacular views of the cruise ship port and the Jamaican coastline on your left and the lush rainforest, on your right. In about 15 -20 minutes you will get to the top of the 700 feet mountain where you may also enjoy lots of outdoor activities.

Mystic Mountain views from sky explorer

However, Mystic Mountain is not only about the stunning views and adrenaline rides. You may also visit Bobsled Museum, take guided nature walks, cool off in an infinity pool with a waterslide. Alternatively, enjoy a relaxing time in the tropical gardens watching Hummingbirds. The choice is yours.

Mystic Mountain is an excellent place for families, especially if you have kids of different ages.

Mystic Mountain in Jamaica is an excellent thing to see in Ocho Rios because it does`t offer only stunning views but also adenaline rides.

Spectacular views of the lush rainforest and an infinity pool with a waterslide are just some of the reasons why Mystic Mountain is one of the top things to do in Ocho Rios.

Ochi attraction Mystic Mountain


  • Entry Fee: find out more information here.
  • Opening times: 8 am -5 pm (might be different if there is no cruise ship in the port)


4. FERN GULLY in Ocho Rios

rainforest near Ocho Rios: Fern Gully is a perfect escape from busy Ocho RIos

Fern Gully populated with dense rain forest vegetation.

If you would love to experience Jamaica’s mountainous terrain and you don’t have enough time to visit the famous Blue Mountains, make your way to nearby Fern Gully. A natural area, created when an earthquake destroyed a river bed, is a winding scenic stretch of road which starts in Ocho Rios and runs for about 3 miles.

The area gets its name from an abundance of giant tropical ferns and hardwood trees which grow in the area and create a tunnel-like effect (form a canopy overhead). A drive through a road built on an old riverbed, in the heart of the rainforest, is also an unmissable attraction in Ocho Rios.



Dolphin Cove, located just 3 km (2 miles) from Ochi, is another top-rated attraction in Ocho Rios. This is a typical swim-with-dolphins tourist trap (favourite especially between cruise tourists), where you may also interact with stingrays, sharks and other animals.



Margaritaville, located conveniently on the main street in Ocho Rios, is another touristy place to visit. A restaurant and a bar with a two-story waterslide and a swimming pool also transform into a nightclub with Afro-Cuban vibe.



Beach at Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Moreover, Jamaica is blessed with plenty of postcard-perfect white-sand beaches and clear warm waters. Unfortunately, the finest of these beaches, are either incorporated into resorts or privately owned attractions with an entrance fee.

Dunn`s River beach in Ochi is a postcard-perfect sandy beach with clear waters. Therefore, it is a popular attraction in Ocho Rios.

Dunn’s River Beach, Ocho Rios, Jamaica


Turtle Beach, located approximately 10 minutes away from Ocho Rios, is the main beach in the town. 500 metres long beach with a wide range of water sports also requires an entry fee to access the beach. Adults entry fee is USD 3 or JMD 200, children (2-11 years) pay USD 1 or JMD 100. Loungers and umbrellas are also available for rent.

Similarly, James Bond Beach at Oracabessa Bay, located 16 km from Ochi, is another privately owned beach. This beach with turquoise blue waters can also be seen in the Bond film Dr No.

A day pass at the Riu Ocho Rios:

A day pass at 24hr All-Inclusive Riu Ocho Rios includes beach and pool access, all meals and drinks, snorkel gear, transportation from the cruise port and much more.



watersports and snorkelling

While Jamaica’s reefs may not be the best in the Caribbean, there are still some places along the north coast for snorkelling.  Apart from snorkelling, many beaches in Ochi are offering everything from the rental of scuba equipment to non-motorized options such as kayaking. All the main resorts have dive sites and operators who rent out snorkelling equipment.



Stroll through the botanic gardens and climb less touristy waterfall located just about 5 minutes from the Ocho Rios town centre. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the island and its first inhabitants, the Tainos, who Columbus met on his arrival in Jamaica. Konoko Falls and Botanic gardens are also home to a museum and small zoo where you might see parrots and endemic birds such as Jamaican barn owl. Konoko Falls are one of the best things to see in Ocho Rios in Jamaica if you love nature and you are also interested in culture.


  • Some Ochi taxi drivers are still more familiar with the name Coyaba Gardens & Mahoe Falls (the previous name of Konoko Falls)
  • Don’t forget your water shoes (and if you do, you may still buy them on-site)


Entrance Fee: Adults USD 20, Children (3-12 years) USD 10, Under 3 years – Free.



sunset in Jamaica

Nothing beats the Caribbean sunsets, but the Jamaican sunrises are pretty spectacular too. Even though Negril is reputed to have the most stunning views of the sunset, those in Ocho Rios are breath-taking also! The sun creates a different show every day, so you will never get bored of watching them. And the best thing? They are absolutely free.



Ocho Rios offers a large variety of outdoor activities, and river tubing is one of them. Paddle downstream sitting in a massive rubber ring and float down the refreshing crystal clear White River in Ocho Rios. Known for its beautiful wildlife and lush tropical scenery, river tubing down the White River may be enjoyed by all ages. Rafting down the river is a pleasant way to spend a few hours.


What is there to do in Ocho Rios for free?

Ochi has much to offer; however, most sights are not for free. Beaches are also privately owned or incorporated to hotels. Therefore, expect an entry fee. The most popular free things to do in Ocho Rios is a visit to tropical Fern Gully and our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church.




  • Swim in the Irie Blue Hole (Secret Falls)
  • Climb famous Dunn’s River Falls
  • Visit Mystic Mountain, a renowned adventure theme park for its bobsled ride, zip line and rainforest tram
  • Ride the calm waves of the crystal clear river and enjoy beautiful Jamaican scenery while River Tubing on the White River near Ocho Rios.
  • Swim in the glowing Luminous lagoon on the northern Jamaican coast
  • moreover, take an ATV tour around Ocho Rios
  • Kayak through the Jamaican waterways and enjoy its stunning landscape
  • also, take a tour to the limestone caves.



  • swim at the Ire Blue Hole
  • climb the famous Dunn’s River Falls, located just a short distance from the port
  • also, take a ride on the Zion Bus to Bob Marley’s home in Nine Mile village
  • take a chairlift ride to the Mystic Mountain for some of the best views of Ocho Rios
  • unravel the attractions of the Mystic Mountain and also don’t forget to go bobsledding and to zipline
  • enjoy a horseback ride on one of the Jamaican beaches
  • visit also Konoko Falls located in the hills of St Ann
  • furthermore, drive through Fern Gully: a former riverbed which disappeared after an earthquake, now a home to the natural fern forest
  • relax at the Shaw Park Gardens – a must-have attraction for nature lovers
  • then explore the Green Grotto Caves
  • do some shopping in Ochi
  • in addition to this, relax on one of the white sandy beaches in Ocho Rios





With two international airports (Kingston and Montego Bay), Jamaica is well served by flights from Europe, the USA and Canada. When visiting Ocho Rios, the 93 km (58 miles) shuttle ride from Montego Bay takes approximately 90 minutes.



Jamaica, one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, has declared a state of emergency in 2018 due to high levels of crime and violence around all the tourist areas in Montego Bay Area. There is also an ongoing threat of gang violence in some areas in Kingston, the nation’s capital city, where crime is a growing problem. However, Jamaica has an incredible natural abundance, and it would be a shame to miss exploring safe places. As long as you use your common sense and you are aware of your surroundings, you will enjoy this stunning country.


Don’t wander around alone at night in Ocho Rios, Negril or Montego Bay and avoid dangerous areas. Take particular care when withdrawing money from ATMs, don’t carry a large amount of cash, or expensive jewellery with you (one of the biggest problems tourists face are actually petty theft). 



Jamaica is well-known for its all-inclusive resorts. If you are thinking about booking a holiday in Ocho Rios and you cannot make up your mind where to stay, check out our review of The CLUB Hotel RIU Ocho Rios. This oceanfront resort, with a stunning location, provides the perfect place for rest and relaxation while staying in Ochi.


For those visiting Ocho Rios on a cruise ship, the hotel also offers All-inclusive Club Hotel RIU Ocho Rios DAY PASS (the day pass begins directly from the Ocho Rios cruise ship port). Find out more information here.


  • Smoking marihuana is very common in Jamaica and most likely will be offered to you during your stay. However, smoking marihuana is considered illegal in Jamaica. Avoid carrying and using drugs, even if it is easily available.
  • The local currency is the Jamaican dollar (J$), which does not have a fixed rate, though. It is also possible to pay in USD dollars.
  • Vaccination certificates are not required unless visitors are travelling from an infected area for yellow fever.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please save it also to Pinterest. 🙂


There are many fun things to do in Ocho Rios in Jamaica! From beautiful beaches to refreshing waterfalls, Ochi is full of unique attractions. Make sure you don`t miss them!


Have you been to Ocho Rios in Jamaica? What would you like to try? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.

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